MUSICAL INTERLUDE 127*
Trilala. Tout ce quil y a de plus Trilala. And he was eiiiitting all
the sounds of the slaughter house, with incredible gusto and
I stared at him with a horror that was difficult to conceal; how
could so withered a creature produce so many farmyard noises at
the same time ? There was the sound of slaughtered pigs, of neigh-
ing horses, and gobbling turkeys, all cascading simultaneously
from his lizard throat. He accompanied this cacophony with
ceaseless shakings of the head and hunchings of the shoulders, and
all the time his fingers plucked angrily at the strings, as though
he were trying to tear them from their sockets.
The pandemonium ceased as abruptly as it had started. The
Ancient, 'panting, regarded us with a malevolent eye. The Cham-
berlain turned and said :
6 You find it interesting ? *
c Indeed, yes.'
He nodded approvingly. "It is a piece by Thyagaraja, one of
^our most celebrated composers/
* Is he... is he dead ?' I tried not to sound too hopeful.
'He died a hundred years ago.'
That was something.
Evidently further questions were expected. "Has the piece any
special significance ?'
'Of course/ replied the Chamberlain. It is a prayer to the god
Rama. Nearly all Thyagaraja's pieces are prayers to the god Rama.
This one says 6 O Rama listen to me, come closer to me O Rama ! *
One could not help thinking that if Rama had come any close
to the Ancient he would have incurred so grave an injury to his
eardrums that all future prayers would have been addressed to-
him in vain.
The concert proceeded, and we burst straight into the ravish-
ments of item 29 which proved to be a form of artiLery bom-
^ardment entitled: Sri Raghavendra, Gowlipuntha Adithala, Vainka-
pravona (Mr. Venkatagiriyappa).
Once again the bounds oi' the slaughter house were much in